Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “servant leadership”

What a little puddle of water can do for you


What a little puddle of water can do for you 

Photo credit: Joe Lynch, taken in Philly

The photo of today’s post is of a little puddle that the photographer noticed while walking in the streets of Philly one day. I think of it offering a great analogy. I look at a dirty little puddle because I am down in the pits. Yet, the reflection lets me see the beautiful sky right above me. When we are at our worst and our mood is down we should still make enough time to realize what a beautiful sky is wide open above our heads. The great image of the blue sky stands for inspiration, hope, possibilities, and opportunities. We need to allow this positive energy into our thoughts – even in the darkest of times. Much like the photographer though, we need to have the presence of mind to notice this little bit of inspiration in the muck.

On days when nothing works right we often can only look down and feel really bad about ourselves. We can only see the short term impact of our doing. We are in total reactionary mode; things are in motion but we make little progress. What we should be doing is to look up and see the possibilities that are out there waiting for us. Beauty and positive things are just waiting for us to discover them. Open your senses and be on the lookout for them.

Ralf

The American Dream is alive and well – Thoughts of an immigrant


The American Dream is alive and well – Thoughts of an immigrant 

Photo: Pablo by Buffer

This post was recently shared through Dr Tom Hill’s weekly electronic magazine (scroll to end of webpage to sign up for receiving his Eaglezine). Happy 4th of July!

These days following the news and social media can be depressing, right? The world news currently are not very positive. Here at home we unfortunately seem to be quite divided over some real and some not so real issues. Despite all of this I am hopeful and upbeat that we will once again be unified in helping each other live the American Dream. There is barely a week when folks ask me why one Earth I am so enthusiastic about living here in the U.S.A. and life in general. That is really easy to answer. We are blessed beyond measure living in a country that nurtures a culture of inclusion, tolerance, collaboration, and it guaranties liberties that I have not found in any other country I have either visited or lived in. The only person in my way of progress and dreams is myself. Many helpful people and organizations are around who can assist you achieving them. Here is a little bit of my journey to becoming an American citizen.

For me it makes me think of my first Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. – and Phyllis. That was 1989, the year I arrived at Philly from my native Germany for what I thought would only be for a 3 year adventure. Phyllis was a friend of a friend who knew a friend of mine at the company I still work for today. A recent divorcee, she rented a room of her little condo to me. I was thankful for having a place to stay. The room was big enough that the only things I had to my name were 2 suitcases full of clothes that did not even make a dent in the room’s closets.

New to country and language I knew no one. She was so warm-hearted and explained a lot of colloquialisms and also taught me everything from laundry to going grocery shopping. I had been in the country only for a few months when the Phyllis asked me if I wanted to stick around with her family for the Thanksgiving holiday. I had to ask her what we will be thankful for and what the holiday was all about. She tried explaining this to me as best as she could. My command of the English language still had a long way to go at that time.

Little did that prepare me for that great cold Thursday in the fall of 1989. I was astounded how many family members and friends showed up. Two big tables were moved together and everyone helped in preparing the food and table for the feast. Then I saw my first turkey. Wow! I had never seen anything like it. When all the food was set on the table I thought to myself that there was enough for a whole football team to show up and still have enough food for everyone.

After saying Grace her family and friends asked me all kinds of questions as to where I was from and what I was doing here in the States. They did not know it, but I was so humbled by that. At that time, Germans were still not all that welcome in various areas in Europe and people there would avoid you and actually make a point to exclude you. Many people’s thinking and actions were still affected by the horrible Nazi times surrounding WWII. Here a former foe was sitting amongst folks whose relatives most likely had fought mine in one or both world wars. Instead of hostility and the usual ignorance I received nothing but warmth, inclusion, and most of all a genuine interest in a total stranger! Wow! Who are these people and would more people act like these folks?

In the many years to follow I found the vast majority of people to hold the same core values. Work took me to visit 44 States so far and across the board I met genuinely nice and genuinely warm hearted people. I began to ponder if it was not time to play a more intricate part of the American society. Who I am is due to my German upbringing, education, and of course my family and friends back there. Who I can be though, I owe to America. I went from being a mechanics apprentice in Germany to becoming a management team member of a successful manufacturing company here stateside. Sure, it took a lot of work to get there, but I am eternally grateful and thankful to this country and its people for providing the most important part: opportunities. It was time taking the arduous path becoming an American citizen. I wanted to help perpetuate helping others pursue their dreams and I could only do this if I could exercise my right to vote.

My family was with me the say of getting sworn in as an American citizen back in 2010. It was such a special day to me and I am sure that the other more than 40 new citizens next to me felt the same way. I was hopeful then as I am today that we will put our political views and differences aside and figure out solutions to our everyday issues. I am confident that our struggles will unify us more than separate us. We are a good people and the world and our kids need us, one nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all. Blessed beyond measure.

Ralf

Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing


Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing 

This week I will get a chance speaking on behalf of local manufacturing companies during a special event with mayor Kenny from Philly and the mayor from Frankfurt Germany (Frankfurt and Philly are sister/ partner cities). Main topic will be embracing learn and earn apprenticeships and co-ops connecting students with manufacturers. My key message will be that manufacturing is far from dead. In fact low quantity high complexity manufacturing has come back not only to this area. This comes at a pivotal time when old talent will retire at an alarming rate in the next five to ten years. Yet, the fourth oldest workforce – that being manufacturing – struggles finding people fill their open positions.

I hear this all the time: “Millennials are so entitled”, “Do they think they get a trophy here for just showing up?”, “They do not know how to show up on time”, “They need so much re-assurance”, they this or that. It is just unreal how much and how many entrepreneurs and business leaders shun their future work force.

In my view this is a great fallacy committed upon the folks fitting the Millennial envelope. It is also a fallacy committed upon your organizations. Perhaps it is about time that companies reflected upon the fact whom they think will start filling their open positions vacated by their long term employees. It won’t be the few folks left on the open job market. They people they want to employ may have the experience etc they need, but they are gainfully employed elsewhere.

I have found the youngest members of the up and coming workforce to be phenomenal team members who can contribute so much to your workforce. That is if you and your organization are willing to provide three very basic things that even incumbent workers will grow to embrace if not love:

  • Provide a purpose greater than ourselves. Time needs to be worth spending at your place of work
  • Provide a career path
  • Provide a structure embracing the career path

Perhaps this is the time for the companies to do some soul searching and embracing change and not only looking at the potential future job candidate just trying to “fit in”. Millennials deserve better than just off-putting generalizations. They are intricate part of our future.

Ralf

How to deal with really angry and nasty people


How to deal with really angry and nasty people 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

When people get under your skin because they really loathe you and what you do, the best you can do here is to close your eyes, take a deep breath, say a prayer, and whole heartedly forgive them. They hate this even more, and you feel better. Much better.

Traffic, work, neighbors, family, school, and so many other places are rich with angry people. Those can drain you of all your energy and anything you do and even think about, can soon consume your thoughts and feelings. You can do something about this though. “All” it takes is engaging your power of choice: choose love and inclusion instead of hatred. This will free your mind and heart and all but automatically remove the power other people have over you.

Do you feel even ever so slightly brave? One more way to kick things up a notch is to openly approach the people who hate you. Manage to remain friendly, but have the candor of asking them what you can do to make things better. More often than not their anger only resides in their heads because their brains had had a monologue instead of an actual dialog with you.

When that happens their thoughts can spiral out of control. Their negativity is a purely homemade issue and you are only a cheap pawn in this blame game. Since you were never invited to a dialog you do not even know what their grudge may be all about. You could not do anything worse than engaging in a battle of words with them. You can however, engage them in an open fact finding mission in which you are going to try finding out what happened leading up to them getting upset.

Hatred is tiresome and draining. Most of all it is not long term sustainable without causing other issues. This can change overnight if you are willing to make the greatest change of all: Changing yourself. Choose love and forgiveness and the world and people will open up to you. And if they don’t do that love them anyway and move on. No one has power over you unless you permit that. So do not let such negative people rain on your parade.

Ralf

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